Penlowry

Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway


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P!ss poor planning…

…means p!ss poor perambulation. 

I have been preparing for the weekend. Normally at model railway events I just wander round, then find afterwards I’ve missed some stuff and also spend a lot of time going backwards and forwards to the same traders when I’ve forgotten something. 

Not this time! I have a map. I have a list. I have train tickets. I have an entrance ticket. I am ready. Warley, here I come. 

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Preliminary investigatory discoveries

There is no point starting any model of the Mighty Square without talking to those that have gone before and reading. What they have written, 

Huw, who in his day job mends poorly NGG16 Garratts at Dinas, has a blog of his railway, Traeth Mawr Railway, where he detailed his building of the Square in plasticard. 

I also talked to “The Scribe” Of Bron Hebog and Dduallt fame who pointed me in a very useful direction. More on that in a minute but suffice to say the Dduallt boys have built more than one Square over the years, one in plasticard and then a more accurate / reliable one in brass on a set of Backwoods bogies. 

Investigation of my Langley kit reminded me that I got it cheap because it was incomplete – it is missing smokebox doors, chimneys, domes, and a few other bits and bobs but nothing that would be a concern. The good point about the Langley kit is that it is relatively in good nick. The Bachmann chassis I have is a GP50 which is exactly the same under the “hood” as the originally required GP40 (interestingly I see Langley now offer the GP50 as the standard chassis).


The wheeze that The Scribe suggested was to use the entire Langley body kit and “skin” it with plasticard to create the recognisable outline. This means the plasticard isn’t structural and the loco retains the weight which is so useful for its tractive effort. If you’re familiar with the modern double fairlies and then have a look at Livingston Thompson in York you will note how much smaller the original fairlies were so one will fit inside the other. 


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Preliminary investigatory discoveries

There is no point starting any model of the Mighty Square without talking to those that have gone before and reading. What they have written, 

Huw, who in his day job mends poorly NGG16 Garratts at Dinas, has a blog of his railway, Traeth Mawr Railway, where he detailed his building of the Square in plasticard. 

I also talked to “The Scribe” Of Bron Hebog and Dduallt fame who pointed me in a very useful direction. More on that in a minute but suffice to say the Dduallt boys have built more than one Square over the years, one in plasticard and then a more accurate / reliable one in brass on a set of Backwoods bogies. 

Investigation of my Langley kit reminded me that I got it cheap because it was incomplete – it is missing smokebox doors, chimneys, domes, and a few other bits and bobs but nothing that would be a concern. The good point about the Langley kit is that it is relatively in good nick. The Bachmann chassis I have is a GP50 which is exactly the same under the “hood” as the originally required GP40 (interestingly I see Langley now offer the GP50 as the standard chassis).


The wheeze that The Scribe suggested was to use the entire Langley body kit and “skin” it with plasticard to create the recognisable outline. This means the plasticard isn’t structural and the loco retains the weight which is so useful for its tractive effort. If you’re familiar with the modern double fairlies and then have a look at Livingston Thompson in York you will note how much smaller the original fairlies were so one will fit inside the other. 


Leave a comment

Preliminary investigatory discoveries

There is no point starting any model of the Mighty Square without talking to those that have gone before and reading. What they have written, 

Huw, who in his day job mends poorly NGG16 Garratts at Dinas, has a blog of his railway, Traeth Mawr Railway, where he detailed his building of the Square in plasticard. 

I also talked to “The Scribe” Of Bron Hebog and Dduallt fame who pointed me in a very useful direction. More on that in a minute but suffice to say the Dduallt boys have built more than one Square over the years, one in plasticard and then a more accurate / reliable one in brass on a set of Backwoods bogies. 

Investigation of my Langley kit reminded me that I got it cheap because it was incomplete – it is missing smokebox doors, chimneys, domes, and a few other bits and bobs but nothing that would be a concern. The good point about the Langley kit is that it is relatively in good nick. The Bachmann chassis I have is a GP50 which is exactly the same under the “hood” as the originally required GP40 (interestingly I see Langley now offer the GP50 as the standard chassis).


The wheeze that The Scribe suggested was to use the entire Langley body kit and “skin” it with plasticard to create the recognisable outline. This means the plasticard isn’t structural and the loco retains the weight which is so useful for its tractive effort. If you’re familiar with the modern double fairlies and then have a look at Livingston Thompson in York you will note how much smaller the original fairlies were so one will fit inside the other. 


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Reformer 

The title of this post refers to the “Insights” physchometric test which everyone in my company recently did. A reformer is someone who, well, reforms, often by assimilating lots of detail and punching out the best solution in the shortest time possible – but generally is better to let someone else complete the job. Excellent qualities for a professional engineer (even if I do say so myself) but a bit rubbish for a model railwayist. Although I have fantastic ideas I don’t always complete them – as this blog is testament. 


Fortunately for the project I am now looking to get underway I have time. Almost exactly 2 years to be precise. Next week is Warley model railway show. Appearing at Warley in 2019 is a friend of mine’s Ffestiniog Railway layout. I have said (how foolish am I) that not only would I have my disco car in full working order by then, I’d also complete my model of Earl of Merioneth, The Mighty Square. 


The Square is a fantastic bit of kit in real life and I’ve had plenty of good days on its footplate. 


With a Backwoods and Langley kit for a double Fairlie in my cupboard I can use the Langley kit to provide me with bits to build the Square. Whatever guise the Square has appeared in it has its followers and detractors but I love it in all its guises. It was one of the steam locos I really remember from when I was 3ish on family holidays to North Wales when it was in its 80s austerity look. 

Planning has begun, and let’s be frank, this reformer is going to need every day of the next 2 years if I’m going to complete it in time! 


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Further consolidation

I did feel this post should be called “further mogulisation” but that doesn’t really fit…

I wrote some time ago that I needed to stop messing about doing a half arsed job that would cost the same in the end as doing the job properly. At the time I was talking about building a 15xx out of a 94xx body and I sorted my error by finding a 15xx body kit on eBay. 

One of the dangers of modelling the GWR is it can all get a bit samey. That’s one of the reasons I like the Cambrian – being an Absorbed Railway, and a big one at that, it’s got its own feeling. The danger is particularly apparent of course with the locomotive stock – standardisation is wonderful for a business but terrible for modelling interest. 

With that in mind I reviewed my stock, also with a view of removing locos which are more difficult to convert to DCC, and promptly disposed of a K’s Grange Kit that wasn’t going to get built any time soon and a Mainline 43xx which has a split chassis and was in the wrong Livery anyway. These two of course are particularly samey as the Grange is the bastard child of the 43xx. 

In their place I have acquired a Horwich Crab. I have always liked the Crab, probably more than any other LMS loco due its uniqueness and oddity. 


This one had come from eBay and had been grimed by Grimy Times at some point in its life and it does look just right. 2715 was an Agecroft Crab in 1948 so it makes sense that it had come to Penlowry Jcn on a through working and is awaiting a suitable path back. 


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Shed Planting

Building up of the area around the mountain Railway shed and station has continued. 

With a spare few minutes the other day I traced out a shape so that the height inside the shed is higher than the walls would suggest. This forms two purposes – one to get the height right for the point back into the mainline, and secondly to build up the ground level at the back end of the shed to accept some laser cut shed doors I’ve ordered. 


It also helps to enhance the feel of a narrow gauge entity having taken over standard gauge infrastructure (think Aberystwyth). 


Next stage is to sculpt the raw foam to a more natural state.